Changing your diet can significantly reduce high blood pressure. Research has shown that certain foods can lower blood pressure, both immediately and over the long term. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure affects one in three adults.

Medications, diet changes, and other lifestyle modifications can reduce high blood pressure while lowering the risk of associated conditions. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. In this article, we discuss foods that can help lower high blood pressure and provide the scientific evidence.

15 Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure

Many researchers have found that certain foods can lower blood pressure. We take a look at what foods work and how to incorporate them into a healthy diet.

  1. Berries

Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid. Researchers conducted a large study of more than 34,000 people with hypertension. They found that people with the highest intake of anthocyanins, mainly from blueberries and strawberries, had an 8% reduction in risk. hypertension, compared to people with low anthocyanin intake.

Consume the berries as a snack or as a treat after meals.

  1. Bananas

Bananas contain a lot of potassium, a mineral that plays a vital role in managing hypertension. A medium-sized banana contains about 422 milligrams of potassium.

Potassium reduces the effects of sodium and eases tension in the walls of blood vessels.

Adults should aim to consume 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium per day.

  1. beets

Drinking beet juice can reduce blood pressure in the short and long term. In 2015, researchers reported that drinking beetroot juice led to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension who drank 250 milliliters, or about 1 cup, of this juice every day for 4 weeks. The researchers noticed some positive effects within 24 hours. It can be helpful to drink a glass of beet juice every day, add beets to salads, or prepare these vegetables as a healthy side dish. Beet juice products are available in organic shops.

  1. dark chocolate

This sweet treat can lower blood pressure. An analysis of 15 trials suggests that cocoa-rich chocolate reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension or prehypertension. Choose high-quality chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa and consume a single square, or a piece of about 30 grams, each day.

  1. Kiwi fruit

According to the results of a study, a daily serving of kiwifruit can reduce blood pressure in people with mildly elevated levels.

Consuming three kiwis a day for 8 weeks leads to a more significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Kiwis are also rich in vitamin C, which can significantly improve blood pressure in people who have consumed about 500 mg of this vitamin every day for about 8 weeks.

  1. The watermelon

Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline, which can help manage high blood pressure. Citrulline helps the body produce nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels and promotes flexible arteries. These effects promote blood circulation, which can reduce high blood pressure.

To increase watermelon consumption, add the fruit to your salads or enjoy it in a chilled watermelon soup.

  1. oats

Oats contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which may reduce the risk of obesity and blood cholesterol levels. According to some research, beta-glucan may also lower blood pressure. A higher consumption of beta-glucan fiber can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Barley also contains this fiber.

  1. Leafy green vegetables

Leafy green vegetables are high in nitrates, which help manage blood pressure. Some research suggests that eating 1-2 servings of nitrate-rich vegetables each day can lower high blood pressure for 24 hours. Here are some examples of leafy green vegetables: cabbage, fennel, kale, lettuce or spinach.

  1. garlic

Garlic is a natural antibiotic and an antifungal food. Its main active ingredient, allicin, is often responsible for the health benefits associated with it.

Some research suggests that garlic increases the production of nitric oxide in the body, which helps smooth muscles to relax and blood vessels to dilate. These changes can reduce hypertension. Additionally, using garlic in place of salt may further promote heart health.

  1. fermented foods

Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, beneficial bacteria that play an important role in maintaining gut health. Consumption of probiotics may have a modest effect on high blood pressure. Fermented foods to add to the diet are: natural yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, apple cider vinegar

  1. Lentils and other pulses

Lentils are a staple of many diets around the world, as they are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and fiber.

  1. natural yogurt

Yogurt may reduce the risk of high blood pressure in women. Researchers found that middle-aged women who ate five or more servings of yogurt each week for 18 to 30 years showed a 20% reduced risk of high blood pressure compared to women of the same age who rarely ate yogurt. yogurt. Unsweetened yogurts, such as natural or Greek yogurts, tend to have more benefits.

  1. Pomegranates

Drinking a cup of pomegranate juice daily for 28 days can reduce high blood pressure in the short term. The researchers attributed this effect to the antioxidant content of the fruit.

While pomegranates can be eaten whole, some people prefer the juice. When buying pre-packaged pomegranate juice, check that there is no added sugar.

  1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon may also help lower blood pressure, at least in the short term. An analysis of three studies showed that cinnamon reduced short-term systolic blood pressure by 5.39 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.6 mm Hg. However, more research is needed.

Add cinnamon to your diet by sprinkling it on freshly cut fruit as an alternative to sugar.

  1. Pistachios

Pistachios are healthy nuts that can reduce high blood pressure. One study reported that including pistachios in a moderate-fat diet may reduce blood pressure during times of stress. This could be because a compound in pistachios reduces the tightness of blood vessels.

Snack on plain pistachios, add them to your salads or mix them into pestos. Unsalted nuts are healthier.